The various men’s sunglasses styles make them more than just a practical accessory, as a cool pair of sunglasses adds the finishing touches to whatever outfit you’re wearing. But the wrong pair worn on the wrong occasion can also seriously detract from your look—think of the unfortunate gent with the cycling glasses and the suit…
Here we’ll take a look at five classic and reliable men’s sunglasses styles which will suit most occasions and outfits. We’ll also explore the face shape that each pair will suit best, and the best places to find both premium and budget-friendly pairs.
1. Aviator Style Sunglasses
The quintessential alpha-male sunglasses, aviators have been a popular staple since the 1950s. They were developed in 1936 especially for pilots—hence the name, but by the time the Second World War had ended and American economy was thundering along again, the military style was in vogue.
The domineering look of Aviators gives them an air of machismo, and they can look great with anything from a three piece suit to board shorts and flip-flops.
The premium option for Aviators is, unsurprisingly, found over at Ray-Ban. More budget friendly aviator shapes are a dime a dozen on the highstreet, with some low quality pairs retailing for under £15. We quite like the collection over at Select Specs, where better quality, polarized Aviators sell for between £30 and £50.
Aviators will look best on men with wider or longer faces with a stronger jawline. If you’ve got a much slimmer face or more delicate features (or indeed a smaller head), Aviators may end up being a little too overwhelming.
2. Wayfarer Style Sunglasses
Wayfarers are for just about everybody and anybody, a true never-let-me-down style. Think John F. Kennedy, The Blues Brothers, Leo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Daniel Craig’s 007. They pair up fantastically with formal shirts, suit jackets and trousers, and easily go with more relaxed clothing.
The trick is picking the right colour of frame. Solid black is always reliable, but to add a little flair, you may want to go brown or tortoise shell. Wayfarer style sunglasses are available in just about every colour under the sun, but the more refined colour you choose, the more versatile they’ll be.
As mentioned above, Wayfarer style sunglasses are for everybody and one of the most versatile men’s sunglasses styles. The only thing to worry about is the size of frames, as some are much smaller and some a lot chunkier. Naturally, a slimmer and smaller face will suit the former, and a broader face will suit the latter.
3. Clubmaster Style Sunglasses
The Clubmaster is the sleeker, lighter little brother of the Wayfarer. The top frame is similar, but the plastic makes way for a thin metal frame around the sides and bottom of the lens. They’ve been around since the 1980s, and have become a huge hit in both black, brown and tortoise shell.
We prefer Clubmasters with gold rim lenses to all else, as they elevate the look just enough and help the glasses go perfectly with anything from formal suits to sports gear.
Of course, Ray-Ban, the inventors of the style will take a mention for the best place to get them, but Oakley also offers a great alternative. If you’re on a very low budget, TopMan offers a high street, super affordable but non-polarized version.
4. Geometric Style Sunglasses
Hexagons are making real in-roads in the sunglasses world. They work well with just about any dressing style and can be extremely complimentary. They add a little bit of structure to the cheekbones and don’t overwhelm the face in any way (unless worn with thick frames). Geometric sunglasses tend to look best on smaller faces, either rounded or defined.
Surprise surprise, Ray-Ban offers some great pairs which can be found on their own site or through Sunglass Hut. We love these ones, and these ones. Another couple of fantastic high quality options are made by Prada, while there is also a much more affordable Oakley rendition.
5. Rounded Style Sunglasses
In truth, rounded sunglasses are hit or miss. Go full John Lennon at the office, and you’re likely to go catch attention for all the wrong reasons. But the selection of rounded sunglasses is much wider these days, with the best pairs softening the circular edges.
Square and diamond shaped faces take to rounded sunglasses best, and the width of your face will dictate the thickness of the frames you should choose. Heavier frames for wider faces, lighter for slimmer faces.
Smart Buy has a nice little collection of mid-range round glasses in the £50 region. H&M’s offer sees to the rock bottom price threshold. Meanwhile, those who want top quality might find their best match at Sunglass Hut. We won’t choose favourites, but let’s just say this pair by Polo Ralph Lauren are staggeringly good value.
For the record, we at Nickson do not profit in any way from the links provided in this article on men’s sunglasses styles. We’re just here to help men look and feel better and more confident. See our other style guides and articles below, and check out our collection of dress shirts here.
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